Probably, people have never had such an easy way to get financial independence as starting a dropshipping project. Indeed, this business model allows entrepreneurs to launch it with a limited budget, which makes dropshipping affordable almost for everyone.
However, some people who have already tried it out call this business a siren song. They were blinded by the prospect of getting easy money. And the level of competition they faced after starting to dropship just caught them off guard. Meanwhile, the successful results in dropshipping require entrepreneurs to map out their actions before getting started. In other words, those who jump the gun will inevitably fail.
To draw up a good plan, you have to figure out all the necessary details to start this business.
What dropshipping looks like
Dropshipping is a type of retail business which sets you free from buying products in advance, storing and even shipping them. You don’t need to rent warehouses and offices, and hire people to manage your orders. What you need is an online store and reliable suppliers. When customers buy something from your website, you redirect the order to your suppliers, then they carry out the rest of the tasks including packing and shipping the goods straight to the clients.
Therefore, starting a dropshipping project comes down to four seemingly simple steps:
- Making up your mind about items to sell.
- Getting in touch with trustworthy suppliers.
- Building your dropshipping store.
- Coming up with a suitable marketing strategy.
Careful implementation of this plan is the key to success in the business. However, many people are unable to bring it off due to the lack of knowledge. That’s why we need a closer look at each step.
Items to sell
While choosing products for your online store, entrepreneurs need to keep in mind that those items should live up to two main requirements:
- You have to know your goods well enough to make your customers enjoy buying from your shop. In other words, your website has to have special friendly atmosphere, so that customers feel that you are interested not only in their money, but also have something in common with them.
- Your products must be in demand. To find such items, you should conduct some research. You can explore social networks to discover popular trends, use Google Trends, or search for them on retail platforms, such as AliExpress. Apart from that, there are some free options available to solve this problem for you.
One of the most crucial parts of the dropshipping process is a reliable supplier. On the one hand, you need to find those providers who offer the lowest prices, so that your online store would be profitable and competitive at the same time. On the other hand, you need to be sure of the products’ quality and reliability of your suppliers. There are three major options to search for them:
- On the internet on your own;
- In dropshipping directories;
- On online retail platforms.
Usually, the first two options could hardly be implemented for the traditional dropshipping model. Wholesale companies which you can find on the internet or which are listed in directories have several requirements that put some restrictions on entrepreneurs’ trading policy and affect their profit.
The best way to find suitable suppliers for newcomers is exploring online retail platforms. If you carefully look into statistics and customers’ reviews, you’ll definitely succeed in your search and avoid being restricted.
Creating a dropshipping store
There are a lot of famous marketplaces which dropshippers could use as a platform for their web-stores. The platforms, such as Amazon and eBay, have their evident advantages:
- It’s easy and fast to start dropshipping there
- There are a lot of customers visiting those platforms every day, so you don’t need to attract any clients
However, the truth is that success in dropshipping business requires standing out from your competitors, which is hardly possible there. First, you have very limited ability to design and promote your store on those platforms. Secondly, there are some rules you have to follow and fees you have to pay.
On account of these reasons, many entrepreneurs prefer to set up their own websites and start dropshipping from them. The most popular solution is launching a WordPress site and turning it into an online shop with WooCommerce. It allows you to create an outstanding website which will be a unique destination for your customers. Not to mention that you have 100% ownership of your store, which is essential for business development.
If you’ve chosen to start dropshipping from your own site, an efficient marketing strategy is a must. Unlike huge marketplaces, your online store remains unknown for clients until you make them aware by promoting your goods. It might include Facebook Ads, Google Ads, content and social media marketing, etc. A great marketing strategy is your end of the bargain in dropshipping, so you have to think it out carefully.
As you can see, preparing to start dropshipping is the most responsible part of this business. Thus, those who take their time at this stage and carry out all the mentioned steps properly will reap the benefits of it.